The Koran

Islam          Session Eight

Item #3, bullet #4 of Outline:  The Koran

 

The Koran is the holy book of Islam.  It contains 114 Suras (chapters) which originated as revelations received by Muhammad from Allah; 90 revealed to Muhammad in Mecca, and 24 revealed in Medina.     The first revelation was received, via the Archangel Gabriel, in 610 AD and the last in 632 AD.  The Suras are arranged by length – from longest to shortest.  The first Sura of the Koran is number 96, received as a revelation in Mecca; and the last Sura is number 5, received as a revelation in Medina.  But what is the essence of the Koran?  Let’s discover how various authorities describe the Koran:

 

The Koran according to The Koran:

  • Sura 10:38   It is the full revelation of God, confirming all that was before it and a full explanation of all that is decreed for mankind!
  • Sura 10:37  A divine production:  it is “not such as can be produced by other than Allah.” (#17, P. 24)
  • Sura 3:3; 25:1  It is the “criterion” or “standard” of judgment of what is right and what is wrong.    (#17, P. 24)
  • Sura 17:82   It offers “healing and mercy to those who believe,” but “to the unjust it causes nothing but  loss after loss.” (#17, P. 24)
  • Sura 39:28   It is “free from any flaw.”  (#17, P. 24)

 

The Koran (and life under the Koran’s edicts) according to:

  • Alexis De Tocqville (French Thinker/Historian):  “I have studied the Koran a great deal . . . I came away from that study with the conviction that by and large there have been few religions in the world as deadly to men as that of Muhammad”.
  • Briggite Gabriel (Writer):  “Islamic societies are suffocated by shackles around the human spirit and  brain.  Islamic theology is driven by masochism, dominance, intolerance, submission and violence to all that disagrees with Islam’s principles of law”.
  • Thomas Carlyle (Scottish Scholar):  “It is a toilsome reading as I ever undertook, a wearisome, confused  jumble, crude, incondite.  Nothing but a sense of duty could carry any European through the Koran.”
  • Winston Churchill:  “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on it votaries!  Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy.  Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.  A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity.  The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.”
  • Edward Gibbon (Historian):  described the Koran as “an incoherent rhapsody of fable, and precept, and declamation, which sometimes crawls in the dust, and sometimes is lost in the clouds.”

Whatever one’s opinion of the Koran may be, the fact remains that it is the “Law of Islam.”  Muslim’s believe that it is the direct, unerring word of Allah that cannot be altered in any way; it has existed since before time, it not to be criticized and the physical volume itself must not be treated disrespectfully.

When Muhammad was weak and being harassed by foes in Mecca the revelations were moderate in tone and tolerant of opponents and their opposing ideas.  After moving to Medina and as he became more powerful the revelations became more bellicose, intolerant and lethal.

Serge Trifkovic captures this transition well in his book, “Sword of the Prophet.” (#18, PP. 78-80)

“There is considerable  difference in style and substance between the Meccan and Medinan verses.  The early revelations are more imaginative, rhapsodic, and emotional.  His sole purpose is to bring his hearers to a belief in the one, only Allah, by appealing to their feelings rather than their reason.

. . . In the second period of the Meccan Suras, Muhammad cuts himself off completely from the idolatry of his compatriots.   . . .  The moral is always the same:  Muhammad is God’s prophet, and any denial of the truth of his mission would bring on his fellows the same retribution.  Medinan revelations, in turn, seek to secure his own position and influence and justify his actions.  They also show the transition stage between the intense and poetical enthusiasm of the early Meccan chapters and the more prosaically didactic later ones.

. . . The late Suras also signify the final break with the Jews and Christians, who are fiercely denounced.  The Muslims must be merciless to the unbelievers but kind to each other. (Sura 48: 29)  Whoso of you makes them his friends is one of them. (Sura 5: 5)  War, not friendship, is mandatory until Islam reigns everywhere. (Sura 8: 39 & 2: 193)  Muslims are ordered to fight the unbelievers ‘and let them find harshness in you. (Sura 9: 123)  They must kill the unbelievers  ‘wherever you find them’. (Sura 9: 5)  The punishment for resistance is execution or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides. (Sura 5:23)

. . . The long Suras from this last period are less poetically inspired.   . . . We are repeatedly reminded that it is none other but Allah who is speaking to us through his prophet, whose revelations are all kept in a heavenly ‘mother of a book,’ where the Koran is inscribed in a tablet. (Sura 85:21-22)”

 

The Koran is otherwise noteworthy in many respects.  Its Suras contain a unique blend of contradictions, grammatical errors, biblical errors, historical errors, convenient revelations and racists rhetoric.

  • Grammatical errors:  See Suras 2:177, 192; 3:59; 4:162; 5:69; 7:160; 13:28; 20:66, etc. (#13, P. 119)
  • Biblical errors:  Number of days of creation, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, the names of biblical characters (such as Saul), and historical mistakes such as claiming that Alexander the Great was a Muslim.  Robert Morey chronicles these and other errors and mistakes in his book, “The Islamic Invasion.” (#13, PP. 137-144)
  • Convenient revelations: For example; when Muhammad wanted more wives or wanted to stop his wives from quarreling, he got a quick revelation for it. (Sura 33: 28-34)  (#13, P. 147)
  • Racism:  “According to the literal translation of Sura 3: 106, 107; on Judgment Day, only people with white face will be saved.  People with black faces will be damned.” (#13, P. 155)

More about the Koran next time, including the “Law of Abrogation” and the Koran’s view of Jesus.